Cryptozoology literally means the “study of hidden animals.” It is a new branch of science that searches out creatures which are thought to be nonexistent by popular biology, legendary, or considered to be extinct. Many skeptics exist on this topic; however, since the discovery of the coelacanth, a fish long thought to be extinct, in the early twentieth century made the idea of undiscovered animals hiding in our modern world a very popular thought. The animals which they study and for which they search were labeled as “cryptids” in 1983. Here are the top ten cryptids that cryptozoologists are currently investigating. If you have any evidence of these creatures, get it to your local cryptozoologist immediately!
10. Giant Vampire Bat
Vampire bats do exist, but they are not humanoid vampires trying to get away from vampire hunters. They are merely bats who have a diet based primarily on blood. These particular bats are only found in Central and South America though, and they are quite tiny since blood isn't that nourishing of a diet. A larger cousin of these bats is named the giant vampire bat and is thought to be extinct. However, many cattlemen residing in southeastern Brazil claim to have seen very large blood-drinking bats that fit the description of this seemingly extinct animal. Since bats are some of the most difficult animals in the world to find, many scientists have hope for finding several new species. The giant vampire bat could certainly be one of them, giving credit to the legend of this nighttime monster.
9. Nandi Bear
Modern day Africa has no known bears to speak of, but many fossils indicate that a species of bear lived there in the not too distant past. Several African legends mention bears though, giving some credence that maybe a very small population of bears might live somewhere in the unexplored African wilderness. This bear creature has been seen by many people in Africa, but the Nandi tribe has the most number of sightings—giving the bear its name. Some scientists think that the bear might be a mistaken sighting of an undiscovered giant baboon. Cryptozoologists are excited about either species being this mysterious mammal as they hunt for it all across the eastern African mountains.
Merfolk may seem to be a creature that even cryptozoologists would consider to be too weird to be real and just a legend. However, the idea of a creature that is half human and half fish is seen in just about every culture with a coastline. Sighting claims go back to some of the earliest examples of written texts, and modern first-hand sightings are still constantly circulating to the present day. The range, both geographical and chronological, has raised some suspicions though that perhaps Merfolk could be looked at as a type of cryptid. The theory that most cryptozoologists accept if they believe in the idea of Merfolk is that they are animals—either a fish that has developed an almost human appearance for an upper body or even a primate that developed a half-aquatic lifestyle.
The Mothman is a very famous mysterious creature that people have been trying to find solid evidence of and explain for several decades. The creature was reportedly sighted in West Virginia from the end of 1966 until the end of 1967. All reports during this time made it to the police of the area. Ever since this time though the Mothman has been reclusive, showing himself only to a random person with no other evidence or not at all. He is said to be a man sized creature with large wings and glowing red eyes. The most down-to-earth explanation of the creature, keeping out ideas of a hoax or folklore, is that he is a misidentified Sandhill crane since the surrounding areas had a big problem with those birds in the 1960s.
6. Giant Octopus
Just about every sea-faring culture has a story of a giant sea creature with many grasping tentacles. The most famous of these is the Kraken. Many of these stories are considered to confuse a giant octopus with the giant squid (a mythical animal we now know to exist). The most realistic of these reports though are of a large, aggressive octopus living in the blue hole caves just off the Bahama Islands called the lusca. Very large octopus carcasses have washed up on beaches, but the fact that they rotted away while they were criticized by skeptics and the largest parts of them were already gone. Cryptozoologists have found no evidence of living giant octopuses but are still eagerly looking to prove the presence of this animal to mainstream scientists just like they did with the giant squid.
The Yeti is one of the most popular cryptids in modern culture. It is said to be an ape-like creature living in the high altitudes of the Himalayan Mountains belonging to Nepal and Tibet. Western culture likes to call it the Abominable Snowman, and legends of the creature didn't actually emerge until the Western World pushed its way into this area in the 19th century. The animal has been seen many times by westerners climbing the mountains in this area or even just its strange tracks. Modern scientists believe it might just be a misidentified bear or even a human hermit living away from any type of society. However, it still remains one of cryptozoology's most popular creatures even though no solid proof has been found.
4. Black Panther
Black panthers are actual animals. It is a term used to describe any particularly large feline that is completely black—either the all black phase of leopards of Africa and Asia or jaguars of South and Central America. Each of these two species are also historically known to roam parts of Europe and the southern half of North America. However, cryptozoologists are currently looking into proclaimed sightings in places that these black panthers have never been found before like in Britain and middle and northern areas of North America. While some scientists believe these reports to merely be escaped pets, others think that these totally black large felines to be a new species of wild cat.
3. Loch Ness Monster
The sea-serpent like creature inhabiting the infamous Loch Ness in the highlands of Scotland is a cryptid that has been seen from as early as the 7th century. However, “Nessie,” as the monster is commonly called, didn't receive worldwide notoriety until the 1930s. Countless teams of modern cryptozoologists have investigated the lake in search of this creature that many believe to be a long-surviving pleisosaur (a real-life sea monster from the time of the dinosaurs) or perhaps some new species of lake serpent but have no solid proof of the monster's existence. Still, the monster holds its sway on the town next to Loch Ness and people around the world. The hunt is certainly still alive for infallible evidence.
Sasquatch, most commonly known as Big Foot, is an extremely hairy ape-like cryptid which walks on two legs. Sightings of this creature range just about every bit of large forest lands in North America. However, the most numerous reports of this creature are concentrated primarily in the Pacific Northwest—the states of Oregon and Washington and the province of British Columbia. Stories of a hairy wild man are seen in the folklore of the Native Americans of this area before any western exposure and before a single name was applied to the creature. It wasn't until the late 1950s though that this creature became a national legend for which all hikers in wooden, mountainous areas would search on even the most mundane walk through the forest. Modern reports pop up almost constantly, but cryptozoologists are still looking for an actual living creature that can be trapped or even a carcass rather than mere footprints or blurry photos.
The Chupacabra is literally translated as “goat sucker,” since it is believed to feast on the blood of livestock. Latin American communities in Mexico and the United States have the highest report of these small but stocky-sized creatures but sightings have been announced as far north as the state of Maine and as far south as the country of Chile. The real “hot spot” for these creatures though is certainly Puerto Rico where in the 1990s numerous reports of strange animal attacks occurred on livestock. While this animal is considered by mainstream science to be a contemporary legend, cryptozoologists aren't quite sure. Some are certain that these animals are a new species of wild dog or even small bear. This cryptid is one of the most searched after animals as of right now since its appearance is so recent and sightings to detailed. Keep your eyes open if you have medium sized animals near your home!Author: Brooke Windsor Copyrighted © paranormalhaze.com